On March 24, 2016, the CDC issued an update to the Salmonella Virchow outbreak associated with Garden of Life RAW Meal Organic Shakes. Since the last update more than a month ago, there have been 9 more cases of Salmonella poisoning reported. This brings the total number of illnesses to 27. Five of these cases required hospitalization, but no deaths have been reported. The most recent case of Salmonella poisoning began on March 13th.
Five new states have been affected by the outbreak. There are now 20 total states affected by the outbreak, including Alabama with 1 case, California with 2 cases, FLorida with 1 case, Hawaii with 1 case, Massachusetts with 1 case, Maryland with 1 case, Michigan with 1 case, Minnesota with 3 cases, New Jersey with 2 cases, New Mexico with 1 case, North Carolina with 2 cases, Ohio with 1 case, Oklahoma with 1 case, Oregon with 1 case, Rhode Island with 1 case, Tennessee with 1 case, Texas with 2 cases, Utah with 2 cases, Wisconsin with 1 case, and West Virginia with 1 case.
Two recalls have been associated with this outbreak. The first occurred in late January, when Garden of LIfe issued a recall for a limited amount of organic shake mix products. The recall was expanded in mid February to include more varieties and lots of the shake mix. A full list of recalled products can be found here. Health officials have recommended that consumers throw away any recalled products found in their home. If a product or lot of the shake mix is not included in the recall list, then it is safe to consume. As a preventative measure, Garden of Life is removing Organic Moringa from the list of ingredients.
Salmonella poisoning is one of the most common forms of foodborne illness in the United States. The CDC estimates that the various strains of Salmonella bacteria cause about 1 million cases of illness each year. After infection, the bacteria will cause symptoms to arise within 72 hours. Generally, a Salmonella infection will produce symptoms including nausea, abdominal cramping, diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Although the infection will usually subside in 4-7 days, more intense infections can require hospitalization. The elderly, children, and those with suppressed immune systems are at an increased risk of developing a serious infection. If you or a loved one begins to show the symptoms of Salmonella poisoning, contact a medical professional.